Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found …”
Joy to the World ELW #267
If you have shared a cup of coffee with me here at church, you have probably noticed that my coffee cup has not been washed for some time. (In truth, I have an even half dozen of them, all in generally the same condition.) Some of you have even commented on the fact, to which I have responded that I like my coffee cups “well seasoned,” that they are now “broken in just the way I like them,” or that not washing them is a preventative measure to assure that they won’t be stolen. There is accuracy in all of these statements, but there may be other reasons as well (laziness, perhaps). To those of you have threatened to take matters into your own hands and wash them: back away slowly and no one will get hurt.
However, in the spirit of Christ’s birth and, to a far lesser extent, the New Year, this post-Christmas you will see a sparkling clean coffee cup in my hand. I am not one who makes New Year’s resolutions—although there is something epic about turning a page on a new calendar—yet, we who are Christians understand Jesus’ coming into the world as being far more significant.
As the hymn says, “No more let sin and sorrow grow.” Like the residue that builds up in my coffee cup, the sludge of our brokenness accumulates in our lives. This can happen so gradually that we sometimes we don’t notice it. Then one day, our separation from God and each other is so obvious that we can’t ignore it.
Fortunately, the God who donned human flesh over 2,000 years ago continually “comes to make his blessings flow” without limit. In fact, every day is Christmas in the life of Jesus’ followers, an opportunity to “come clean” and start fresh.
So, I’m not promising that I will keep my coffee cups clean; I just might let them get grungy to keep reminding myself of the incredible love that God pours out to all of us, all of the time. But, for now, they’ll glow to reflect the light of Christ. Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.